Finding and screening good tenants is one thing: but how do you keep them, once you have them in place? Tenant retention is something that not only saves you money, but saves you a lot of headaches.

Respond quickly to their complaints

If your lease terms do include noise restrictions, you need to enforce them. Otherwise, why have them in the first place? Additionally, if you’ve got a drug dealer- you have an eviction that needs to happen, yesterday. Consult your attorney and take care of that before it becomes an even bigger problem. If the dealer is simply working your neighborhood- it’s a good idea to work with not only the police, but your property owner and neighbors as well. They’ll probably want them gone just as much as you do.

Work with them to schedule maintenance and repairs, give advance notice

Repairs and maintenance are a pain for everyone involved- except maybe the contractor doing it. You can minimize the hassle on all fronts by simply making sure they’re scheduled when it’s convenient for all involved. This is usually when they’re not likely to be around, but some prefer to be present when the work is done.

Always be sure to follow up and through on requests and commitments

It seems like it would go without saying, but we all know times when it hasn’t. If you say you’ll do something, do it and do it when you say you will. Tenants want to know that their complaints and repairs will be handled quickly and efficiently. Most tenants are renting because they want to, and one of the biggest reasons they want to is to have someone else to take care of these things.

If you know a PITA is on the way, warn your tenants

Think about it. You’ve had a rough night, and you had to get up early. The alarm didn’t go off, and so, you’re running late. You jump in the car only to find you cannot get out of the driveway and why? Because there’s some kind of city maintenance going on. Though you as a property manager may not always know when this sort of thing will happen: if you can know, you should also let your tenants know.

Offer designated parking but make sure it’s enforced

One of the biggest perks an apartment complex can offer is safe parking where it’s not a five mile trek to the door. Honestly, who wants that? Be sure to also have guest parking available, but focus on making life easier for your tenants. Assign parking areas and places for your tenants and make sure you enforce those rules. When a tenant does break the rule- send a letter of warning and if they continue, have the vehicle towed.

Safety first

Making your tenants feel safe means so much more than being in a good neighborhood. Keeping the outdoor areas well lit, the foliage well maintained and the fences low just helps promote an overall sense of ease and safety. (In addition to making criminals think twice and usually reconsider.) When repairs are scheduled and taken care of, security is kept important but not confining to your tenants, they know that you’re looking out for them.

Allowing pets

Pet friendliness is a big deal. Though this can come with its own headaches- it’s also a perk that many, many renters are looking for. When you do allow pets: enforce poop bag and potty area rules. Nobody, even an ardent pet owner, likes to do the poo shoe shuffle and it’s just gross having it lay there in common areas. You don’t have to be out there with a telescope to figure out who’s doing it. Neighbors will usually be all too happy to let you know.

Most importantly, you should know that a responsible tenant knows they are a good catch and will want to be treated as such. It’s more than worth your time to keep them happy, and if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you, too.

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Kurt Kroeck has written articles in real estate, law, and art related niches for a number of high profile publications. He is an avid WW2 re-enactor, artist in graphite, charcoal, and digital media. He volunteers in animal rescue and enjoys spending time with his children.

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